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Lithium-Induced Chronic Kidney Disease in a Pediatric Patient

  • Gupta, Neena
  • Gibson, Meghan
  • Wallace, Ellen C.
Publication Date
Jun 03, 2019
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Lithium-induced nephropathy usually manifests in adulthood as it develops slowly after many years of cumulative exposure. There is very limited information available in pediatric patients. Renal function monitoring and timely intervention is the key in preventing lithium-induced chronic kidney disease in these patients. We report a case of a 14-year-old boy who was on lithium for almost 9 years for his complex psychiatric illness. He presented with increased urinary frequency and nocturia. His serum creatinine increased to 1.15 mg/dL (estimated glomerular filtration rate or eGFR 53 ml/min/1.73 m(2)) from a baseline of 0.78 mg/dL (eGFR 86 ml/min/1.73 m(2)) a year prior to this presentation. Results of the imaging study were consistent with lithium-induced nephropathy. He was managed conservatively. His serum creatinine returned to baseline of 0.78 mg/dL after a year of discontinuation of lithium, consistent with mild chronic kidney disease. This case highlights the fact that lithium-induced chronic kidney disease can present in pediatric age group when lithium is initiated at a young age in children and that timely intervention may prevent further progression of renal damage. In addition to drug levels, routine monitoring of renal function during lithium therapy is essential.

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